Iceland's Double Decker Double Pepperoni Pizza
Iceland's Double Decker Double Pepperoni Pizza, as seen in the advertisment.

Nutritionists and health experts have repeatedly warned that the UK is facing an obesity epidemic.

However British frozen foods retailer, Iceland, recently unveiled a 9in double decker pizza which contains 1,780 calories - almost the full daily recommended calorie intake for women.

Costing as little as £3, the 699g (24.5oz) Double Decker Double Pepperoni Pizza contains 9.6g of salt, more than one-and-a-half times the amount advised for both men and women.

It also contains 54.4g of fat, of which 20.8g is saturated - the quantity being close to 80 per cent of the recommended 25g daily consumption allowance for women.

According to the National Health Service (NHS) the daily calorie intake is about 2,000 calories for women and about 2,500 calories for men. That means the double decker pizza accounts for nearly 90 per cent of a woman's daily calorie allowance and 70 per cent for men.

The double decker consists of a double layer stonebaked pizza, filled with a sweet chilli sauce, topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, ­and pepperoni.

Critics claim that because of its small size, many consumers will assume the pizza is intended for one person.

As reported in the Daily Mail, Tam Fry of the National Food Obesity Forum and Child Growth Foundation said the problem with the 9in pizza is that to many, it will look like and be eaten as a single serving. "This is extremely worrying, especially as it's price is not beyond the reach of a lot of children. I have nothing against pizza per se - if they are well made they can be perfectly healthy and very tasty - but something like this is a great concern."

But a spokesperson for the supermarket chain has defended what they call a "fantastic innovation" stating advertisements for the pizza - which feature former X Factor singer Stacey Soloman - show that "it is designed as a product to be shared among family and friends."

Sian Porter from the British Dietetic Association said foods like the double decker pizza should be eaten as a treat or balanced with some vegetables or a green salad. "At that amount of calories, it should be for sharing," she said.

"It's a double-decker pizza so [people should assume] it's double the amount of food they'd normally have. Shoppers need to have a look at what else is out there and be aware of what you're buying."

"It's about educating people to make healthier choices. [Shoppers should] look at what else is available. There's such a huge choice of healthy foods and we can eat smart and in ways to satisfy ourselves," said Ms Porter.

Nutrition Scientist at British Nutrition Foundation, Bridget Benelam, said it is important in today's society, where we are buying more pre-prepared food and eating more outside of the house, that we make smart food choices. "It does put the onus on us to check those foods, including their calorie content."

While there's no harm in indulging once in a while, said Ms Benelam, foods that contain excessive calories no longer become a treat so people need to be aware of what they are consuming. "There is a lot of difficulty in establishing what a serving size actually is... it's very subjective when it comes to portion sizes and we need to be careful."

Ms Benelam suggests checking the calorie totals on nutritional information guides on packs and assessing whether they are similar to calorie contents for same products. In most instances, Ms Benelam advises selecting the product with fewer calories particularly where they might yield a high fat content as seen in products with a large amount of cream or cheese, for instance.